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  1. #1
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    Default April 15 start date, what type of weather/ conditions should I expect?

    I am heading down to Amicalola Falls April 14 and will be taking my first step on the AT April 15. Just curious as to the conditions I will be faced with because I am thinking about leaving some cold weather gear home if the weather will be warm.

  2. #2
    Registered User patman25's Avatar
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    Default

    This will help you with your research maybe?

    http://www.wunderground.com/history

    You can search previous years to get an idea of about what it will be. Other more informed people may come in and correct me, but it's something to look at until then.

  3. #3

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    I would take most of your cold weather gear with you (you'll figure out what is extra pretty quickly).

    I started April 10th, had snow and sleet a few times in Georgia and North Carolina (and a tornado that I'd slept through that other thru-hikers had told me about the next morning). I'd keep your cold weather gear at least until you're past Mt. Rogers just north of Damascus, Virginia or if you're a fast hiker, until the beginning of Shenandoah National Park.

    Then pick up your cold weather gear in Hanover, New Hampshire or slightly earlier if you choose in Glencliff, New Hampshire and carry that to Katahdin.

    Datto

  4. #4
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    with the way the weather is changing these days the motto be prepared is even more critical.

  5. #5
    Registered User Metallibee's Avatar
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    Starting the 15th as well, for a 2 week section hike, see ya there.

  6. #6
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    I left April 9 2008 and we got blasted with nights in the 20's and snow, at Newfound Gap towards the end of April one moring it was 24 degrees at 10:30am with the sun up and shining, the parking lot an ice-skating rink.

    Remember you are at or near 5000 feet until southwest Virginia, and it has snowed in the Mt Rogers area as late as Memorial Day.

    DO NOT start without your cold weather gear, if the weather is consistently good for a number of weeks, make a decision then. In 1995 I remember having great weather from Hot Springs to Atkins, my buddy sent his 10 deg bag home and picked up his 40 in Atkins, that night it sleeted and blasted us with frozen rain all night, he didn't sleep very well.

    If you were to start in May, you might be able to get by with less cold weather gear. But mid April, it's on the late side but still very much in the typical thru-hiker season, which usually means 4-6 weeks of potential for snow and cold weather.

  7. #7

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    I started 5/1 and had several very cold nites even with a 20 degree bag. Snow flurries in the GSMNP.

    Good rule of thumb is to keep your cold weather gear until Pearisburg, VA.

  8. #8
    Working on Forestry Grad schol
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    The standard advice:
    You should be prepared for cold weather through the beginning of May and south of Pearisburg, VA on the trail. If you get to the middle/end of may and still aren't to Pearisburg the think about sending the cold weather gear home.

    Could you get away with less? Probably, with the chance of a few or even a handful of very unpleasant nights. Worth it? Probably not

  9. #9

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    All above is good advice. I started on April 17 for my thru, and we did indeed have some very cold nights for quite a while. It appears that we did not have a winter in the South this year, but you just never know. The 'Old Man' may not be finished.

  10. #10
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    Not sure what its like in Southern AT, but worst case scenario in spring is usually rain or freezing rain on top of snow and ice followed by below freezing temperatures and wind after everything is wet. Personally I get a real charge out of that stuff, as long as you are prepared to hunker down if you need to. Keeping dry is number one priority. If you can handle wet conditions around freezing you can usually handle dry conditions down to 10degF or so. Focus on wet conditions around freezing, and by wet I mean from above, from below, and side on. I use historical climate data. Be prepared for historical worst for any given month. Adjust for elevation.

    What year was the worst April ever for weather on the Southern AT? Anyone recall?

  11. #11
    Working on Forestry Grad schol
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    I had single degree weather on the AT in 07 in the beginning of April near Erwin, I believe.

  12. #12
    Working on Forestry Grad schol
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    *single digit

  13. #13

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    The weather seems crazy hot right now on Springer. I'm showing 62* at night?

  14. #14
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    I'll be starting on the 15th also. Are you going to do the approach trail too?

    I dropped my buddy off and hiked the approach trail with him last year staying overnight from 3/31 to 4/1 and that night it was below freezing at Springer Mountain Shelter. I had frost all over my hammock and my clothes were frozen.

    I'll be carrying my cold weather stuff.

  15. #15

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    Were leaving apr 9 and doing the approach trail. I wondered what others were doing regarding cold weather gear with the crazy warm weather weve had. I plan on starting with my cold weather gear, but with nights on springer showing in the 50s and 60s, i wonder how long ill be carrying all of that.

  16. #16
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    Are those temp measurements taken on the top of Springer or are those taken at the nearest town? Usually those numbers are based off the nearest town.

  17. #17

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    Yeah, what I'm getting must be closest to town. I thought it sounded off.

  18. #18

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    I'm starting on the 15th too!! Staying at the Hiker Hostel on the 14th. Still waffling back and forth whether or not to do the approach trail.

  19. #19
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdg View Post
    with the way the weather is changing these days the motto be prepared is even more critical.
    Absolutely. I do not throw in the cold weather towel on a thru until mid May.







    Hiking Blog
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    Shenandoah NP Ridgerunner, Author, Speaker


  20. #20
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rangerman40 View Post
    Still waffling back and forth whether or not to do the approach trail.
    Sure, why not do it? Puts you a day ahead on conditioning and trail legs...







    Hiking Blog
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